Post-Dated Gifting for College Students

When our grandchildren began graduating from high school and heading off to college, we wanted to give them money each month during their first year of college.

So in their high school graduation card, we enclosed 10—$100.00 post-dated checks, starting with August of that year and ending the following May. We knew it would come in handy, not only for the grandchildren but for their parents, too. We figured the extra money each month might avoid a call home, asking their parents for a little bit more. Or, it might pay for something that was unexpected.

Our oldest grandson told us many times how he appreciated this. We have been blessed, always knowing how important we are to our grandchildren—because we have let them know how important they are to us.

Note: You could do this in any amount from $10 to $100.  And, if you don’t use checks you could always make a monthly electronic deposit.




Got Lemons? Make Limoncello

I loved reading the Everyday Cheapskate column on Mary’s lemon bounty. I wanted to suggest for anyone who has an excess of lemons—make Limoncello. This is an Italian lemon liqueur that also uses the lemon’s peels, and it is delicious.

I made it last year for Christmas gifts and had the most fun shopping swap meets and yard sales to find really beautiful and unusual bottles. I even researched recipes using limoncello and attached a copy of the recipe I used to each gift. It takes awhile to “brew,” but it’s easy and the end result is beautiful. With all the juicing, peeling, and cooking, there’s not a smidgen of waste. Carol



Creative Gift Idea

Each year, I provide 20+ adults with a small gift to thank them for investing in the lives of my children in elementary school. Because there are so many,  and I don’t know them very well (cafeteria staff, school nurse, bus driver, custodian, school counselor, librarian, etc.), I need to keep the gifts affordable.

Each January, I choose a theme for a simple gift bag. Two examples are “May your Holidays be Merry & Bright” with an orange and yellow tag or “Just wanted to TEAL you Happy Holidays” with a teal theme.

I look for practical and consumable gifts that fit the theme (hand lotion, lip balm, pens, tissue packs, chewing gum, sticky notes, emery boards, etc.) by visiting the clearance racks at stores and shopping big sales.



How to Wrap an Elephant (or any oversized gift)

Don’t waste time and expensive wrapping paper trying to cover an oversize package with multiple sheets of regular-size wrapping paper.  Instead buy a colorful paper or plastic tablecloth and pre-made bow at the dollar store.

It works great, and you’ll have enough paper to wrap a small elephant (or similar size gift) for just a few bucks!

Gift Idea for College Student

When you have everything you need to qualify for a product or rebate, fill out the coupon with the name and address of your favorite college student. The refund check will arrive in the student’s mailbox, made payable to him or her. Who doesn’t love a little surprise now and again!

Rolled Wrapping Paper Saver

Tired of ripped wrapping paper after using tape or paper clips to keep it rolled?  Elastic hair bands are the perfect solution…just slide them up the tube.  They’ll keep your paper rolled and when ready to use, slide them down and no rips from tape or paper clips! Longer rolls may require more than one band.



Aromatic and Useful Hostess Gift

Bundle a variety of herbs from your garden (or local farm market) and put them in a glass jar.  Attach a tag with the name of the herbs and tie it with some colorful ribbon. The fragrance of fresh herbs is wonderful and the gift is useful!

Also, a nice way to return a borrowed container is to fill it with produce from your garden and tie a bow around it.


Fun and Free Christmas Gifts!

One of my kids’ favorite things to do is to watch old home videos of themselves. Of course, with all the cell phones now, most of our home videos are stored on my phone, which makes it more difficult for my kids to watch, especially without me.

Each year I take all the videos I’ve made of my kids throughout the year, even the short silly ones, and copy them to a DVD. Add some fun music or a DVD menu, and I’m done! This is one of my kids’ favorite presents. We can cuddle up on Christmas night (or New Year’s Eve) and laugh together as we watch the memories from our past year.